This is the kind of dessert that wars are fought over. Do not tread lightly into the depths of the MBAP for it is one that harkens to the very depths of an American soul! Salty and sweet. Savory and spicy. This simple approach to an American classic. It may even be directly responsible for getting you laid! Behold the Mini Bacon Apple Pie!
I love to cook and I love to create. I've been making apple pies for years and its one of my favorite things. You may find bits and pieces of this recipe in some form out on the web, and certainly an apple pie with bacon isn't new to the world. Its simply my approach to an American staple. Usually my pies always involve hand made crusts, but for the sake of simplicity, repeatability and consistency, I decided to use biscuits that are available to everyone. Well, that and the fact I won't share my hand made recipe!
You'll want to adjust the spices to your liking. I prefer a bold and spicy pie and shy away from the super sugary method that seems to have become traditional. I'll include some notes where its applicable.
Hope you enjoy because its always better with bacon!
Step 1: Get it together!
Mess Making Time: 25 minutes
Anxiously Waiting Time: 25-30 minutes
Preheat Oven to 350F
Step 2: Choppy chop chop
Peel the apples as you see fit or best know how to accomplish this task. I've seen all kinds of gadgets that promise to be the fastest and the only thing they deliver is a mangled mess. But what ever works best for you! I'm pretty handy with the steel so it doesn't take long and usually doesn't hurt too much. The key is to remove all of the skin. I shouldn't need to specify that goal, but feel compelled.
Normally, for a full sized apple pie, I'd cut the apples down to 1/2" wedges. But since we're making minis, I thought it best to chop it down nice and small so we could jam as much apple into the pie as possible! Again, all kinds of apple cutting gadgets, but the goal is to have small, uniform sized apple bits when we're finished. It may sound slightly obsessive, but making sure the apples are cut to a rather consistent size will ultimately help the entire pie bake evenly and have a consistent texture. Maybe not a big deal in the minis, but critical in a full size pie.
Step 3: Spice it up!
This is the part where you'll want to make your adjustments to suit your tastes. As I said in the intro, I like a bolder pie that speaks with spices and not with sugars. I'd venture a guess that the quantities I've listed might make it a bit too peppery for some people. If you've got a real sweet tooth, kick up the sugar and dial back the white pepper. Bump up the vanilla if you're looking for a smoother taste. Know what you like and go with your gut. The only reason I even took the time to write down measurements was for this Instructable. Most of my cooking happens with the gut feeling (which sometimes yields unrepeatable successes). Another great spot to get suggestions will be the comments! People who love to cook, love to share the variations and sometimes they really improve the original recipe! Please share your feedback! The only thing you're not allowed to put in the MBAP are the nasty little cloves. If you want to add cloves, go find another recipe.
Fire all of the apple into a bowl and add all of the spices.
Give it a good mixing and make sure all of the apple is fully coated with sweet goodness.
As listed, this is also not a particularly thick recipe. If you want to have a pie that's got some napalm style stickiness, add more cornstarch (and/or flour) until it starts to thicken.
Step 4: Bacon.
Do not skip this step.
I opted for the exceptionally thick "slab" cut bacon. Its a bit ridiculous and amazing. Your heart will guide you to the proper cut.
A cautionary tale of slab cut bacon. While its thick and hearty, its also slower to cook. I wasn't sure what to expect when I set out on this adventure, so I didn't precook it at all. You probably should unless you like your bacon soft and floppy. I pulled it off of the pies while it was baking in the oven and gave it a quick sear in the pan. About 2 minutes. It'll be easier if you start out doing this before putting it in the oven. Thinner cuts of bacon might not require precooking, but that experiment is on you. Honestly, who buys thin cut bacon anyway? Its like single stuffed Oreos...no one needs it when there are tastier options.
Remember that when you fry bacon, it will continue to cook after you pull it from the pan. Don't cook bacon until its finished, cook it until its almost finished. (It's also going to cook in the oven, so we're really just getting a jump start here)
Step 5: The cheat
I feel guilty using this dough. Its beneath you and I. We're better than pastry from a can. But its also wicked easy to make and cuts down a lot of time. And you're not getting my recipe for crust.
Open the tube of biscuits and pull out one of the patties. Work to tear it in half horizontally so that you're left with two thinner rounds. It'll be easier if you keep the tube cold and pull it from the fridge right before you need it.
Stretch (or roll) the pasty until its big enough to fill a muffin tin. I'd recommend not greasing the pan. It makes it a royal PITA because the dough won't stay up and keeps shrinking back. Just press the dough into each pocket and keep your fingers crossed it stays put.
Step 6: Lock it up
While the dough is still sticking to the pan and covering the pockets, its time to start adding the filling. Give the apples a couple of quick flips and start filling the pies. Mine held about 1/3 cup of filling. Make sure you scoop deep to get the juices at the bottom of the bowl! And don't be afraid of getting your hands sticky (be careful if you're taking pictures for an Instructable) and smoosh down the apples to pack even more filling into the pies! I filled them to slightly mounded.
Add the top crust which is the bacon. Fold it, drape it, stuff it down the sides. Doesn't matter, just get it on there! I'd normally add a few spots of butter to a pie before closing it off, but in this case, we can count on the bacon rendering down through the rest of the pie to add the smokey and savory throughout the entire piece.
Step 7: Wait.
The worst part is the wait. And you'll need to wait for 25 - 30 minutes.
I'll tell you its a good idea to add a cookie sheet underneath the muffin tin. Especially if you fill them as full as I did. Just go ahead and line that cookie sheet with foil while you're at it because you'll have one heck of a mess. The more time you need to spend cleaning up after the mess, the more opportunities people will have to hijack your MBAPs.
Keep an eye on the masterpieces and when the top edge of the dough starts getting dark and golden, its ready to come out of the oven.
Run a knife around the outside and give them a little wiggle. If its done, it will spin right around in the tin.
For the prettiest results, you'll want to pop them out of the tin while they're hot and before the sugars cool down and stick.
Step 8: Salvation is found!
Its compact and exploding with flavor! I was amazed how well it turned out after the first go. The salty and the sweetness. Like dipping your bacon in the pancake syrup. The smoky bacon taste that has flooded the entire pie. Chewy crunchy bacon bites and the warm firm apple bits.
I skipped dinner and feasted on mini bacon apple pies. You'll have dogs drooling at your heels. Long lost friends will appear. Maybe even a call from the governor.